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Child and Adolescent Psychopathology: Alternative Points of View. Feminism and childrearing practices History and childrearing practices Marxism and child and family psychotherapy Marxism and infant research. Feminism and Childrearing Practices ( Ehrenreich & English).

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child and adolescent psychopathology alternative points of view
Child and Adolescent Psychopathology: Alternative Points of View
  • Feminism and childrearing practices
  • History and childrearing practices
  • Marxism and child and family psychotherapy
  • Marxism and infant research
feminism and childrearing practices ehrenreich english
Feminism and Childrearing Practices (Ehrenreich & English)
  • Discovery of child at the end of the previous century
    • Child mortality declining
      • Nutrition
      • Sanitation
    • Birthrate also declining
    • Privatization of home--production outside home
      • Fewer chores for children around home
      • Opportunities for social control
  • Women realized power lay in childrearing
    • Children are our future
    • Improved socialization of children could result in Utopia
    • Social improvements would occur generation by generation rather than by political agitation and reform
slide3

Women invested motherhood with great social power and skill

    • Elevated status of women’s traditional occupation, repudiating feminism
    • Created reactionary response to immediate solutions like changing laws, favoring raising children who would change laws
    • But motherhood no longer “brute instinct” (p.176)
  • Scientific experts (men) began to instruct women how to raise children
    • Emphasis on preparation for taking industrial jobs
    • Behaviorist principles prevailed
    • Consistency, routine, no emotions were encouraged in childrearing
    • Watson and Winfield Hall led the charge (read from pp. 182, 184, 185)
    • Socialize lower-class mothers to follow some principles of control and regularity (Rockefeller Foundation)
slide4

Parent education and child study replaced mothers’ movement

    • Women had to stay in homes
    • Childrearing experts (men) reinstituted patriarchal authority into homes

History and Childrearing Practices

  • History and findings of developmental psychology need to inform each other
  • Traditionally, developmental psychology has ignored history and culture and assumed that white, middle-class development is normative
slide5

Piaget’s stages of cognitive development

    • Kohlberg’s stages of moral development
    • Erikson’s stages of lifespan psychosocial development
  • More recently , developmental research has acknowledged its biases
    • Ethnocentrism
    • Biological maturation
    • Age-grading
slide6

Children of other cultures develop differently

  • Biological maturation is not inevitable
  • Age-grading differs across culturse and across history
  • Development proceeds in developmental lines, not monolithically
  • Absence of certain developmental stages could affect social arrangements
  • Alternatively, social arrangements affect development of “universal” developmental theories
marxism and child and family psychotherapy
Marxism and Child and Family Psychotherapy
  • Child psychology and its theories and interventions cannot be understood without first understanding the political and social conditions from which they developed
  • Ignoring contextual elements and calling the result “science” serve only to support prevailing political and social ideology
  • Child psychology must become conscious of the underlying assumptions it makes that serve ultimately to support and promote the prevailing ideology and the interests of those in power
  • Child psychology as currently practiced serves to dehumanize, mechanize human relationships, which serves to fit people to the roles of production made for them by industry
slide8

How does child psychology remove the realm of the political from its discourse?

    • Turning the social into the biological
    • Socialization does not need to occur under ideal evolutionary conditions
    • Socialization reflects political system of production and consumption
    • Infants are inherently social—the watch is already wound up a certain way (p. 301)
  • “People professions” serve purpose of supporting prevailing social order
    • Adaptation of people to system
    • Correct problems made by system; don’t prevent problems by changing system
    • “people professions” are “social garbage workers” removing, processing, and recycling casualties of social order to destroy evidence that current social order does not work and thus prevent social uprising (p. 305)
marxism and infant research harris
Marxism and Infant Research (Harris)
  • Infancy research is text, while historical and current social and structural conditions in which it is embedded are counter text
  • Infancy research is not so much a series of discoveries but rather a series of constructions designed to support the prevailing ideology
    • Infancy viewed as increasingly rational
    • Legitimates (confers legitimacy) on particular forms of childrearing and child management that connect to particular requirements in the world of work (p. 35)
slide10

Emphasis in infancy research

    • Auditory processing—needed for workforce
    • Visual processing—needed for workforce
    • Ignoring of gustatory, tactile, olfactory processing also essential for development
    • Improvement of performance and goal-directedness at increasingly earlier ages
    • Innateness of sociability
    • Ignoring of affect, sexuality, irrational
    • Study of mother and infant alone, ignoring other familial roles in development
    • Ignoring power differential between mother and infant, preferring metaphor of participative democracy
slide11

Similar efforts within study of language acquisition to make linguistic rules appear universal

  • Recent studies have attempted to embed linguistic studies in the context of meaning shared between mother and infant
  • Harris argues that power differential exists between linguistically competent communicator (mother) and an incompetent, gradual initiate into this system (infant)
  • Mothers in isolation can be scapegoated for personal difficulties in the family or in the developing child (p.53)
  • Theory designed to coerce mothers to stay at home?
  • Prevailing organization of production and consumption requires women to work, leaving children to be cared for and raised by the state, with state priorities of performance and goal-directedness